, or NASH, is a common, often “silent” liver disease. It resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol. The major feature in NASH is fat in the liver, along with inflammation and damage. Most people with NASH feel well and are not aware that they have a liver problem. Nevertheless, NASH can be severe and can lead to cirrhosis, in which the liver is permanently damaged and scarred and no longer able to work properly. NASH most often occurs in people who are middle aged and overweight or obese. Affected individuals may also have elevated levels of blood lipids (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) and many have diabetes or prediabetes. Treatment is centered around working towards a healthy lifestyle, including weight reduction, dietary modification, increased activity and avoidance of alcohol and unnecessary medications. The underlying cause of NASH remains unclear.
Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.